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THE MILITARY and RELIGIOUS ORDER of CULDEES SM

The term “Culdee” has become synonymous with the true Celtic Church established in approximately 37 A.D., and lasting until the 1300s. Being active very early in Christian history, the Culdees, are most likely one of the oldest Christian religious orders.

The early Celtic Church and the Culdees were autonomous during their history, and had only limited contact with both Mediterranean cultures and the Roman or Orthodox Churches.  However the Culdees did experience some influence from the Coptic Orthodox, which centered on the establishment and practice of monasticism. This contact is believed to have come through the Galatians who were Celts that migrated from Gaul and established themselves in an area now part of Turkey centuries before the birth of Jesus.

The Culdees were principally missionaries known for wandering throughout Western Europe during the dark ages revitalizing and extending the Christian faith on the continent. More importantly, being geographically isolated from continental Europe, the Order was responsible for the protection and safekeeping of the original Greek Biblical texts during the dark ages.

The Order is credited with the establishment of numerous Abbeys in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, and the introduction of Christianity to remote areas including Iceland. Efforts of the Celtic Saint Gall (610AD) resulted in the establishment of the Celtic Gallican Church in former Celtic territory on the continent of Europe. The Gallican Church exists today in France but was taken over by and continues to operate as part of the Roman Church. The Culdees remained active until the 1300s, when the last vestige of the Celtic Church surviving in remote areas of the Scottish Highlands disappeared under pressure brought about by the expansion of the Roman Church.

A number of religious and chivalrous orders existing today claim direct lines of succession through many centuries to the present. Research reveals that such claims are often inaccurate, questionable, or bogus. The Holy Celtic Church makes no such claim for its Military and Religious Order of Culdees. The modern Order of Culdees has revived, reestablished and reorganized the traditions of the original Order to fit the character of today's society. It no longer focuses on monastic endeavors, but concentrates on its original mission: conducting a chaplaincy and missionary ministry, thereby living up to its name by asking members to become "Companions of God". In addition to this original ecclesiastical mission, the modern Order has adopted a military and chivalrous characteristic to accompany its religious endeavors, making members "Soldiers of Christ". The Order is under the direction of the Holy Celtic Church and is a member of the Celtic Synod, following the Synod’s doctrine.

Brothers and Sisters of the Order are free from vows of celibacy, are non-stipend; and serve under the direction of an Abbot, functioning in a limited capacity as clergy. They must be members of the Holy Celtic Church, undergo a training program, and be invested and ordained into the Order. The Culdee Order serves as the primary training organization for both incoming members of the Order and individuals later desiring to become Reverend Abbots in the Holy Celtic Church.  Each member can be assigned to serve as a chaplain at facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, shelters, etc., or as missionary ministers officiating at cell churches and missions, or by conducting various street ministries. The Order expects members to be self-sufficient and normally serve on a part-time basis. Each Brother and Sister shall be members of the Holy Celtic Church and agree to abide by vows and the code of conduct of the Order.

It should be noted that the Chaplaincy Ministry although needed and fulfills the Great Commission is at the same time often difficult and demanding for those involved. Chaplains can find themselves in emotional, difficult and unstable situations and environments requiring Chaplains to be mature, mentally stable, and dedicated to their work. At the same time the, Chaplaincy is a ministry in which a person can feel a great deal of personal satisfaction in doing good work for the Lord.  Unfortunately, the Chaplaincy today is an area of Christian ministry often overlooked, and lacking emphases in many communities. Such a ministry needs dedicated Christians and those with interest in the Culdee Order and its work are invited to contact telephone number 760-946-6020 or e-mail address celticsynod@verizon.net

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